Vietnam set to privatise state-owned MobiFone

Vietnamese regulators are set to approve the privatisation of the country’s second-biggest operator, MobiFone, by the end of the year.

MobiFone is owned by state-controlled VNPT, and the company is making the sale amid increasing competition from military-run rival Viettel Telecom.

MobiFone shares will be sold in an IPO by the government, and plans for the offering are due to be completed by the end of this year.

The government did not disclose any further details, or reveal any likely strategic investors for the IPO, but the move follows an increasing trend in Vietnam where state-owned companies are being restructured to raise additional finances.

MobiFone reportedly accounts for 50-60% of VNPT’s earnings, and the privatisation is reportedly also designed to drive the state-owned operator to develop other business services, including ICT, content and multimedia.

According to the most recent data available, MobiFone had 21% of Vietnam’s mobile phone market in 2012.

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